Kris Rusch is one of those.
I adore her Spade/Paladin mysteries. Whenever I hear that there’s a new one, immediately buy it (or sign up for the Kickstarter, as it may be.) They have a charm, a set of character portraits, that pull me in. I’d sit down for a meal with these people. I’d even pay.
Coolhunting isn’t a Spade/Paladin novel, but in terms of tone and feeling, it’s close. There’s an SF world that will satisfy any fan of the genre. There are great characters and intriguing ideas. There’s conflict galore, without a single shot being fired.
And there are some incredibly dark themes, especially around family and oppression, that are so deftly handled that I didn’t even think of them until they struck me full-on after I put the book down.
So this is me, giving my recommendation to Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s Coolhunting.
Steffie makes her living as a coolhunter—someone who discovers an interesting look and makes it fashion, often overnight. She managed to escape her stifling upbringing, but her sister KD—genetically altered to remain a child—remains trapped.
Steffie left KD behind once. But when KD asks Steffie to help her run away from home, Steffie must decide whether to help or to abandon her sister for a second time.
A Locus Award finalist, and winner of the Science Fiction Age Reader’s Choice Award.